White Front Stores

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RXSQ
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Location: Riverside, CA
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Re: Former White Front stores

Post by RXSQ »

runchadrun wrote:I read in a Wikipedia entry that the Orange Show store still had the White Front arch. I used to go to that store a lot in college but I don't remember the arch but I wasn't paying attention to that kind of thing at the time. Is there still an arch there?
The arch is long gone, but the pylon sign remains:
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San Bernardino - Target, Orange Show Road

Speaking of long-gone arches (and White Front stores), here are two views from 2008 of the former Riverside, CA location:
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Riverside - former White Front store, 11060 Magnolia Ave. (at La Sierra Ave.)

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Riverside - the store originally sported the large "White Front" arch entryway

Over the years after White Front, the Riverside store contained an indoor skateboard park, bowling alley (Sierra Vista Lanes), small nightclub (Rustlers Inn), racquetball center, ice skating rink (La Sierra Ice Gardens), canned food store, and a pet store (Elliott's Pet Emporium) -- many at the same time. Around 1980, the large archway was re-constructed into the mansard-styled entrance seen today. The building's last major "chain store" use was as a Builders Square home center in the late 1980s. Currently, the building serves as offices for Riverside County.

Google maps aerial view of the former Riverside White Front.
bkress
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Re: White Front Stores

Post by bkress »

Sacramento had three White Front Stores, It was my first job as a teenager, My store was at Stockton and Florin Road (the building still stands), Arden and Watt Ave (the original building was torn down) is now the Home to Safeway and other Stores and the third was at Greenback and San Juan, divided and now the Home to Safeway and other stores, What I remember most was the Big Isle down the Middle of the Store one side was the Department store the other was different special departments like Camera, TV and Stereo and Furniture, I remember White Front was the Place to buy GAF film, My parents bought our Console stereo there and my Mom's Bear Cookie Jar that she still owns that I bought before WF closed in the early 70's
davey

Re: White Front Stores

Post by davey »

I remember the 1 in fresno I bought my first Elvis album there 40 years ago or my parents did I also remember the roof leaked
Jason B.
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Re: White Front Stores

Post by Jason B. »

The "Fresno Bee" newspaper index has four listings on its "RETAIL STORES-WHITE FRONT" card concerning the Fresno, Calif. location:

(1) Plans $1 million store in Fresno. 10/1/64 p. 1A
(2) White Front opening tomorrow. 5/26/65 1A
(3) Ribbon cutting opens White Front. 5/27/65 6A
(4) Will open new supermarket. 5/17/66 3B

The last entry is intriguing. Did White Front stores have supermarkets within them?
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TheStranger
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Re: White Front Stores

Post by TheStranger »

The former White Front in SSF (later Service Merchandise, Safeway, Longs/CVS, etc.) was finally demolished a few days ago, with replacement Safeway slated to arrive by mid-2023.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CaxSHkwsV4j/
Chris Sampang
rich
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Re: White Front Stores

Post by rich »

Just a postscript to an earlier post here---White Front was owned by Interstate Department Stores which also owned Topps which was in the Northeast and Midwest. Interstate also owned a large number of small town department stores which predated their owning these discount chains. Topps was more apparel-oriented than White Front and didn't have super markets. They were a bit of a step up from KMart but a step down from Target. They started closing stores before going bankrupt in the 70s. Some west coast stores went to Two Guys---the former owner of Two Guys (Vornado--a commercial real estate company still in business) bought what was left.
tkaye
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Re: White Front Stores

Post by tkaye »

Jason B. wrote: 04 Dec 2018 04:01Did White Front stores have supermarkets within them?
Yes, they were spaces leased to an established grocer who got to use the White Front Foods name. In the Seattle area, the grocery departments were operated by Tradewell.
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Groceteria
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Re: White Front Stores

Post by Groceteria »

tkaye wrote: 13 May 2022 11:54Yes, they were spaces leased to an established grocer who got to use the White Front Foods name. In the Seattle area, the grocery departments were operated by Tradewell.
The San Francisco White Front on 16th Street (open 17 October 1968, closed early 1973) had a supermarket attached that was apparently operating as a Safeway store at least by 1969 (it appeared as a location in Safeway's newspaper ads). Grand opening ads for the White Front store only mention the supermarket as part of White Front, so I'm not sure what the actual history was. It could have initially been operated by Safeway under the White Front name, or maybe Safeway took it over and rebranded. I can't find any documentation one way or the other.

BTW, that Safeway is still open more than 50 years later. About 1995, it relocated into a large part of the old White Front space when the center was redeveloped. That was my regular store when I lived in SF.
tkaye
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Re: White Front Stores

Post by tkaye »

Groceteria wrote: 14 May 2022 13:43Grand opening ads for the White Front store only mention the supermarket as part of White Front, so I'm not sure what the actual history was. It could have initially been operated by Safeway under the White Front name, or maybe Safeway took it over and rebranded. I can't find any documentation one way or the other.
The only evidence I found of the Tradewell connection was help wanted ads they took out before the stores opened. Otherwise they never publicized it.

It was pretty standard practice for the early discounters to farm out the grocery business.
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